Perfect for city driving but brave enough to tackle the open road, the ASX is Mitsubishi’s compact SUV that is packed with quality features and has the looks to turn heads too. It’s well equipped, available with 4WD and attractively priced.
The goodGreat looks, easy to drive and well equipped
The badCompeting against strong opposition
Mitsubishi ASX 2.0 Exceed petrol CVT 4WD (2020)
It’s amazing to think that the Mitsubishi ASX is already reaching the 10-year milestone and it’s celebrating in style with a major facelift that includes fresh styling, lots of additional on-board kit and a new naming structure.
The 2020 ASX, which costs from £20,295, is now available in two trim levels called Dynamic and Exceed along with an all-new petrol powertrain that can be mated to either a CVT or manual transmission. In addition, customers can select between two or four-wheel drive.
As it is competing in the densely overpopulated compact SUV sector, the five-door ASX needs to attract attention and its modern appearance certainly helps it stand out in a crowd.
The new design cues include the introduction of Mitsubishi’s Dynamic Shield styling with a distinctive grille, fresh LED headlights a redesigned rear bumper with upgraded tail lights and new 18-inch alloy wheels.
Move inside and the ASX has been brought bang up to date with the likes of an eight-inch touchscreen with smartphone link for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. There is TomTom sat nav, Bluetooth, a DAB radio and plenty more besides.
Our range-topping ASX Exceed 4WD model, priced at £26,465, also boasted leather upholstery with an electrically-adjustable driver’s seat, a panoramic glass roof with black roof rails, heated seats, plus the introduction of some extra safety features such as blind spot warning with lane change assist and rear cross traffic alert.
The car was powered by the new 2.0-litre 150hp petrol engine with 195Nm of torque. This was matched to an automatic transmission and the ASX could reach 62mph from a standing start in 12.2 seconds, maxing out at 118mph while delivering combined fuel economy of 34.4mpg (WLTP) with carbon emissions of 167g/km.
Compact SUVs need to be versatile and the ASX has the practicality bases well covered with a boot capacity that ranges from 406 litres to 1,206 litres with the split-folding rear seats dropped flat. There are also plenty of handy compartments scattered throughout the cabin to store away bits and pieces, including a glovebox, a central cubby box, practical door pockets with a section to hold bottles in place, cup holders and a couple of trays.
When it comes to passenger comfort, it rather depends where you sit. Up front, there’s oodles of room and leg space to stretch out. Move into the back though and it gets a tad cramped especially if the front seats are pushed right back. But it’s worth remembering that the ASX is a compact SUV and the rear seats are just fine for children.
When it comes to performance, the ASX is a very easy vehicle to drive. The acceleration through the CVT box is both smooth and responsive and there is ample power on tap to conquer steep hill climbs or overtake slower moving traffic. It’s not the fastest out of the starting blocks, but there are steering wheel mounted paddles for extra driver engagement. And should more adverse weather and driving conditions present themselves, simply turn a dial to alternate between the 2WD, Auto 4WD and 4WD modes.
In busier city centres, the car was nimble as it weaved through the traffic and parking was made simpler thanks to the great all-round visibility and a reversing camera. Then out on the open road, it was nicely composed with good levels of grip and minimal body sway.
It’s also a car that can hold its own on fast moving motorways where it cruises with ease at the national speed limit. You may get a little buffeted by stronger gusts of wind on open stretches of road, but generally the ASX feels well planted.
When tested for its Euro NCAP safety rating, the Mitsubishi achieved the maximum five stars and it features a comprehensive range of systems to protect occupants and pedestrians, as well as helping to prevent accidents happening in the first place.
All in all, when you also take into consideration the impressive five-year, 62,500-mile warranty, the latest ASX is an attractive option for anyone looking for a practical compact SUV. It may still be lagging behind some more modern rivals out there, but the new facelift car is a vast improvement on the outgoing model.
Mitsubishi ASX – first drive (2017)
The ever-growing compact SUV segment is fiercely competitive with manufacturers across the board battling for top dog position, but it’s worth keeping in mind Mitsubishi’s ASX model when weighing up all the options.
ASX stands for Active Sports Crossover and with its competitive pricing, array of top notch kit and impressive ride and handling, the Japanese vehicle has plenty to offer.
Of course, Mitsubishi is a brand steeped in off-roading prowess with the likes of the Shogun and L200 pick-up both very capable at taking on any terrain. And while the ASX is not quite in their league it is a fabulous all-rounder.
Prices start from a very competitive £15,999 and increase to £28,349. There is a choice of four richly-equipped trim levels along with a selection of highly-efficient, yet powerful diesel and petrol engines with impressive fuel economy and low emissions figures to help keep running costs low. And in addition, the newly styled model with its raised ground clearance and athletic stance has lots of head-turning characteristics, including smart light clusters, tinted windows and chunky alloys.
The entry-level ASX 2 is equipped with air conditioning, a chrome exhaust finisher, privacy glass and a high contrast LCD display.
Move up a grade to ASX 3 and you will see the addition of 18-inch alloys, front fog lamps, cruise control, climate control and a six speaker sound system. There are rain sensors, automatic lights, a reversing camera plus extra infotainment kit.
ASX 4 introduces leather upholstery, 4WD and the option of an automatic transmission, along with a panoramic sunroof, the Mitsubishi Multi Communication System with seven-inch HD touchscreen, DAB radio, a CD player, sat nav and plenty more.
Then the range-topping ASX 5 features Nappa leather upholstery with a choice of three colours, heated rear seats, LED mood lighting, twin rear USB charging ports and lots more besides.
So customers really are spoilt for choice and when you factor in the automatic or manual gearboxes along with two- or four-wheel drive, there is an ASX to suit all tastes and requirements.
We tested out the 1.6-litre 114PS diesel model ASX 3 with 6-speed manual gearbox and 2WD. This car was priced at £20,349 (plus £437.50 options) and could reach 62mph from a standing start in 11.2 seconds and maxed out at 113mph. According to official figures it can deliver combined fuel economy of 61.4mpg with carbon emissions of 119g/km.
The first thing to mention is how wonderfully spacious the cabin is with all dials, controls and instrumentation ideally positioned for driver usability – there are no fiddly button or switches, everything is clutter-free and very easy on the eye.
The upright driving position and narrow pillars means the driver benefits from great all-round visibility and the seating is comfortable for all occupants with back seat passengers enjoying ample leg, head and shoulder space.
When it comes to driving dynamics and performance, the ASX is good but not particularly outstanding. Whilst the acceleration, road holding and ride are all perfectly adequate there are certainly sportier alternatives out there. That said; the more lively rivals do tend to cost more than the ASX so it’s worth weighing up budgets before splashing out.
In busy town centre traffic, the ASX cruised along quite smoothly and then on faster lanes, the road-holding was confident and assured. You will hear a fair amount of road surface and engine noise if pushed particularly hard and you will need to shift down a couple of gears to tackle steer inclines.
However, there are so many plus points when considering the ASX. It’s very competitively priced, it’s well equipped, the running costs are low, the technology is simple to operate, it looks smart and the space within the vehicle is excellent with a boot capacity of 442 litres which can be increased to 1,193 litres with the 60:40 split-folding rear seats dropped flat.
Obviously the small SUV market is a very challenging segment to compete in with the likes of the Kia Sportage, Hyundai Tucson, Skoda Yeti, Mazda CX-3 and Nissan Qashqai as rivals, but Mitsubishi is confident the ASX can lay down its marker too as Lance Bradley, managing director of Mitsubishi Motors in the UK, explained: “The crossover marketplace has grown rapidly in recent years and Mitsubishi Motors has been a key player in this important segment. The Mitsubishi ASX is a stylish, well-priced, practical contender that has won many admirers and delivers genuine driving pleasure.
“Delivering excellent economy and emissions, versatility, as well as comprehensive standard equipment, not to mention reassuring safety features, the ASX has everything the crossover buyer is after.”
And for anyone still in need of convincing, it’s also worth remembering the ASX comes with the company’s impressive five-year warranty.
Mitsubishi ASX – 2014
Mitsubishi has really upped the ante in the compact crossover segment with its latest ASX model.
For not only is the new ASX better equipped with the addition of improved sound insulation, new rear suspension, an electrically-adjustable driver’s seat, the choice of an automatic gearbox, keyless entry and starting, hill start assist, and a panoramic glass roof with LED lighting, but it is also much cheaper than the outgoing model.
The ASX, which was originally launched in 2010, is available with 2WD or 4WD, a choice of three engines and three richly equipped trim levels – 2, 3 and 4. And for the first time, there is also a 2.2 diesel engine available on the range-topping ASX4.
But the real bonus for buyers is the dramatic reduction in cost. The ASX2 and ASX3 models have dropped by about nine per cent and start from £14,999 and £16,750 respectively, whereas the ASX4 has been reduced by a whopping 10 per cent and starts from £22,499 for the manual variant.
The new engine available in the ASX4 is the 2.2 16-valve DOHC that is used in the larger Outlander, so it was that model with automatic gearbox priced at £23,899 that we tested out on a road route incorporating busy towns and winding country lanes.
The car was packed with technology and creature comforts, including heated leather seats, sat nav, CD radio with MP3 compatibility, auto light and rain sensors, parking sensors and reversing camera, cruise control and the eye-catching panoramic roof which allows light to flood into the cabin during the day and at night is illuminated by LED mood lighting.
The interior build quality has also been improved with the use of a softer plastic which is still hard-wearing. Comfort levels are excellent and the improved rear suspension certainly helps to iron out the bumps and dips along the way.
The new automatic transmission proved very smooth and the 2.2-litre diesel engine provides all the power and acceleration you could wish for.
Acceleration is impressive – the ASX can sprint to 62mph from a standing start in 10.8 seconds and tops out at 118mph. According to official Mitsubishi figures it delivers combined fuel economy of 48.7mpg and carbon emissions of 153g/km.
The road-holding is flawless even at higher speeds and the ASX can take on tight bends at pace. Plus there is the added reassurance of all-wheel-drive when needed. The 4WD system is controlled via a dial and offers three settings – 2WD for normal day-to-day use, 4WD whereby 30 per cent of the torque is transferred to the rear wheels; and 4WD Lock where 50 per cent of the torque goes to the rear wheels.
All in all, the new ASX is quite a car – it’s elegant, stylish, practical, feature-rich, versatile and also great fun to drive.
Admittedly it does face stiff opposition namely from the Nissan Qashqai, Kia Sportage and Hyundai ix35, but Mitsubishi is confident the ASX will be a winner, especially as the car is cheaper than the South Korean opposition from Kia and Hyundai for the first time.
Mitsubishi ASX 4 1.8 diesel 4WD
There’s never been any doubting Mitsubishi’s highly respected reputation for building grafting, beefy 4x4s, but there’s a new softer side to the brand.
The Outlander was the logical downsizer from the mighty Shogun models, but there’s an even more compact model available in the form of the ASX.
But don’t be fooled into thinking the ASX is a softy because it’s very capable and accomplished off road if necessary. In fact, this model offers the best of both worlds with all the refinements and driving dynamics of a sporty SUV combined with the rugged capabilities of a 4×4.
The vehicle looks great from any angle thanks to smart alloys, bulging wheel arches, sleek lines, tinted windows, auto-folding body-coloured door mirrors and plenty more. The interior boasts an air of elegant sophistication. It has an almost simplistic design layout but there are ample techno treats to make each journey all the more pleasurable.
The top-of-the-range ‘4’ trim level on the test car featured heated leather seats, a colour touchscreen with sat nav and rear parking camera. All controls and readouts are large, clear and easy to operate, except for the Kenwood CD/radio with its tiny, fiddly buttons that can be truly irritating.
But that minor gripe aside, the ASX is skilfully designed with ample room for five adults to travel in comfort.
The generously-sized boot can accommodate 442 litres of luggage which can be increased to 1,193 litres with the split-folding rear seats folded flat. There is also an under-floor compartment in the boot.
The high seated driving position results in excellent all round visibility and comfort levels are good for one and all.
The test model was powered by a 1.8-litre diesel engine, which provided ample get-up-and-go and proved just as accomplished whilst being driven through busy city centres or out on the faster open road where there was a constant supply of power on tap.
Acceleration through the six-speed manual transmission was both smooth and responsive and, despite its length, the ASX proved deceptively agile and easy to manoeuvre.
Latest models feature a new 4WD dial that simplifies converting the vehicle from 2WD to 4WD when necessary, but the car can generally be driven in the more economical 2WD mode.
In fact, according to official Mitsubishi figures, the ASX can deliver a combined fuel efficiency of 54.3mpg.
The ASX was awarded the maximum five stars in the Euro NCAP safety ratings and comes packed with a comprehensive array of safety features, including anti-lock brakes, hill start assist, brake assist, electronic brake distribution, active stability control, traction control, up to seven airbags and much more.
All in all, the ASX is a welcome addition to the Mitsubishi family and offers buyers additional choice when searching for a 4×4 with a softer side.
ASX 3 1.6 Petrol 2WD
Bridging the gap between Mitsubishi’s more conventional cars and its range of rugged off-roaders, the ASX is the ideal crossover vehicle for any active family who enjoy a touch of style.
For although the ASX has a lot of all-round roughty toughty appeal with larger than life bumpers and jet fighter-styled grille, tinted windows, smart 17-inch alloys and a real ready-for-action stance there are plenty of softer touches to be found too.
The test model – the ASX 3 – was fitted with smart comfortable cloth seats which could be heated at the push of a button. Elsewhere, there was plenty of wizardry on-board, including cruise control, automatic air conditioning, one-touch starting, a leather multi-function steering wheel, automatic lights and wipers, keyless entry, Bluetooth connectivity and a great sound system compatible with modern devices.
There was ample room for four adults to travel in extreme comfort – five at a slight squeeze – and there would never be any limitations on luggage thanks to the large boot and split-folding rear seats.
There is even additional storage underneath the boot floor as well as plenty of other options throughout the cabin area.
The driver benefits from excellent all-round visibility which makes driving in busy city centre traffic a breeze and out on the open road the 1.6-litre petrol-driven engine provided ample power.
I did find on a few occasions I was looking for a non-existent sixth gear to no avail, but that aside the drive was pretty impressive.
Road-holding was excellent – even in very wet and windy conditions and the cabin noise was relatively quiet, although road surface and engine noise increased significantly at much higher speeds.
Although there are a number of ASX models with four-wheel-drive, the test model was two-wheel-drive and that certainly didn’t hold it back at all.
Admittedly, there was no snow or ice to be tackled, but its all-round performance was a confident one.
And Mitsubishi has packed a very comprehensive list of safety features into the ASX such as anti-lock brakes, electronic brake distribution, traction control, seven airbags as standard and much more.
In fact, the ASX was awarded the maximum five starts in the Euro NCAP rating.
All in all, the ASX is a brilliant family vehicle. It is fun to drive, offers a safe environment, is full of entertaining features and even has a price tag to put a smile on your face too – £17,999.
Mitsubishi ASX3 1.8 Diesel 2WD
There is always something comfortably reassuring when you take your seat behind the wheel of a Mitsubishi – it’s almost like bumping into an old friend and immediately picking up where you left off.
There is a certain familiarity with the way the dash is always laid out, you know you are guaranteed great specifications at a fraction of the cost some rivals would charge and most importantly of all, you have that comfort blanket feeling of security, safe in the knowledge that the vehicle will boast exceptional safety credentials.
So when the ASX was unveiled it ticked all the usual boxes but quite a few more besides.
Standing for Active Sports Crossover, the ASX looks very much like the Outlander in design only slightly shorter and lower at the back, but that doesn’t mean passengers are cramped for space.
In fact, the rear seat occupants have ample leg room and the high sides mean there is a very light and spacious feel to the entire cabin.
The ASX has retained all the styling of a top quality sports utility vehicle offering high seating positions, higher ground clearance and great luggage space, but it has car-like handling.
The all-round visibility is excellent and manoeuvrability cannot fail to impress as it turned nimbly through hairpin bends and tackled narrow lanes with ease working effortlessly through the six-speed manual transmission.
Then out on the open road, the 1.8-litre diesel-powered engine was bursting with power as it lapped up the road in its path.
The acceleration was excellent even in sixth gear and the ride was exceptionally smooth – even our network of potholed motorways were negotiated with ease.
With an eye firmly on the environment the ASX is the world’s first passenger car application of variable valve timing with a diesel engine, there is auto stop and go, electric power steering, low rolling resistance tyres and plenty of other factors that contribute to the vehicle’s highly impressive emissions figure and low running costs.
Creature comforts include fully automatic air con, cruise control, one-touch starting, privacy glass, excellent sound system, automatic lights and automatic wipers plus plenty more besides.
And when it comes to safety, the list seems to go on forever, but includes anti-lock brakes with electronic brake force distribution, numerous airbags, active stability control, traction control and so on.
So when you add in the beautifully crafted design, it seems the ASX has it all and its arrival in our showrooms is certainly going to send a few worried rival designers scurrying back to the drawing board.